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How to use data to optimise your multi-channel marketing

Multi-channel marketing provides businesses with the opportunity to engage with consumers across a variety of different fronts, tailoring messages for specific groups while maintaining a consistent message and brand. But it’s not simply a matter of sending your message blindly out into the ether – to achieve true success over multiple channels you need to make effective use of the data at your disposal.

This article demystifies this process, helping you understand what this data is, where you need to find it and what you need to do with it. As with all marketing, a little bit of considered thought at the start of the campaign makes a real difference in the result.

Tracking your data

This may seem obvious, but the actual obtaining of your data is the most important place to start and tracking a campaign is really the only way to determine whether your marketing efforts are having a positive effect on your business’s bottom line.

In the digital world, track conversion metrics broken down by target audience and geography. When offline, data should be tracked at the lowest level possible to ensure clarity and simplicity. Something else to consider is the manner in which this data will be stored. Marketing produces a high volume of data, and it’s important to ensure you will have an intuitive system for tracking and managing this information. It may even be an idea to outsource this aspect of the process, for simplicities sake.

Analyse your data

Now that you have your data, it’s important to understand what it’s telling you. Consider a consumer’s interaction with your brand as a path, from discovering the initial message to ultimately making a purchase/interacting with your service.

Discovering and acknowledging the channels different groups are using to interact with your brand is a good way to understand improvements you can make on a broader level, as well as some quick victories that can streamline processes.

A thorough data analysis is also a good way to gain a thorough understanding of the consumers who are interacting with your brand. Find out who the high value consumers are and determine ways in which you can enhance engagement. Also, consider the devices they are using in their interactions. You’re as good as your data in marketing, and a thorough analysis will ensure you get more bang for your buck.

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Develop a strategy

Now that you’ve analysed your data, it’s time to decide how you’re going to respond to it. You’ve discovered the channels your consumers are responding to and the groups of consumers are of highest value, so now it’s time to maximise this and develop a message that will achieve results for your business.

There are a few things to consider in this process. For instance, it’s important to make sure the message that passes through to your customers across multiple channels is a consistent, effective one. It’s also important to make sure the consumer’s journey through different channels is as seamless as possible. An online clothes retailer may have people browsing on mobile devices during the day but only making the purchase when they get home, so keep this in mind at all times.

It’s also important to set goals for your campaign. This will make it easier to touch base and gauge how effectively your plan is working, and what you may need to alter. A clear understanding of the conversion channels will help you better track trends as they are happening and, by the same token, respond if something isn’t working particularly well. Be flexible, yes, but don’t underestimate the advantage of having a predetermined point to corner your efforts around and work towards.

Respond through preferred channels

Now you’ve analysed your data and formulated an effective strategy, it’s time to bring it all together. Multi-channel marketing allows you to engage different groups of consumers with tailor-made messages, but as mentioned before, it’s important to ensure these messages are consistent with the overall identity of your brand.

Create a clear, consistent message that remains compelling across multiple channels. It’s important that it can be used across multiple channels, so keep this in mind when you’re designing – for example, if you were making a small video to entice customers, it would be important to ensure it can be displayed across all platforms, from laptops to tablets and mobile devices. For your campaign to be a success and to establish a clear, consistent message across multiple channels, it’s critical that your advertising and marketing team are all on the same page.

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Test, test, test

The most important part here is tracking your results, responding and testing. Look for different aspects of your campaign to test and make sure you integrate them into your planning. Think about different conversation metric variables and see how you can tinker with them to achieve different results. As with any marketing, it’s not likely you’re going to find the thing that works best with your first effort, so be flexible and willing to incorporate new ideas into your campaign. The world moves at a fast pace these days and if you’re not willing to keep up, it will be to the detriment of your multi-channel marketing campaign. Testing and a degree of flexibility in your approach allows you to keep track of what is and isn’t working and stay ahead of the curve.

Multi-channel marketing is one of the most effective ways to engage with consumers in 2015. But it’s important to do it correctly. Track your data, analyse your data and develop a strategy that allows you to respond effectively in the appropriate channels. And once you’ve done this test, test and test some more! A proactive approach can achieve serious results for your business, allowing you to maintain a consistent message across multiple platforms and maximise the yield from your consumers.

At the end of the day, multi-channel marketing is about getting as much bang for your buck as possible. An acute awareness of what your data is telling you and how to respond will help your business grow and separate you from the rest of the pack.

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